One of the best things we hear from our guests is that whenever they ask their kids where they want to go eat, they all yell ‘BOOM!’. There’s no tougher food critic in the world than a child. Children pick and choose their favourites very carefully and, when they do, there’s no going back. We’ve always tried to keep that in mind. In fact, certain items on our Kids menu are inspired by our little guests. The Alice in Wonderland for instance, was named after a little girl, who’s been coming to our restaurant since before she was even born (her mom was pregnant with her). Still, restaurants have it a little easier than all you parents out there. We’ve witnessed a few epic battles in the home front as parents struggle through 2 hour long meals trying to get their kid to eat just one more bite of the veggies.
Luckily, the kids love us. Whether they try our Mini Pancakes, Clucky Cheese Omelette or our delicious French Toast, they happily gobble it all up and even consider seconds. Parents often tell us that they wish their kids would eat like that all the time, so we thought of handing out a few tips on how to get kids to love food.
1. Let Them Be Involved
Whether it is choosing their meal on the menu or helping you make the dish at home, kids love having some sort of control over what they eat. If they’re a part of the process, they’re more likely to like the end product.
2. Make It Fun
Always be creative at the dinner table and allow them to be the same. Greens don’t have to be boring old greens. Broccoli can be “mini trees” and carrots can be Witch Fingers. We like to think of our extra large eggs as “dinosaur eggs” Just make sure that they only let their imagination run, and don’t actually run along with it. Keep them focused on eating, but make it fun. Anything “mini” is always a hit. Another great way to make eating fun is to make a picture on the plate; maybe a flower or funny faces.
3. Treat Them
Forbidding all things sugary all the time will only make them more coveted in their minds. Treat them to pancakes, waffles and milkshakes every now and then. Just top them up with a load of fruit to give them plenty to vitamins and antioxidants too.
4. Bargain Hard
The golden rule is that they can have more of what they want, if they have a little of what they don’t. Sneak in the veggies, eggs and milk this way.
5. Be a Role Model
Eat the things you want your kids to eat and appear to enjoy them thoroughly. They want to be just like you at the end of the day. They’ll watch and mimic you, eating what you eat. If you eat junk food and force them to have healthy meals, they’ll call you out on your hypocrisy right away. It’s best not to give them the opportunity to do that.
6. Lure Them In
Want your kids to try something new? Lure them in with something they already like and tack on the new food item. For instance, dip carrots with ranch dressing or broccoli with cheese sauce and have them try a bite.
7. Keep Your Cool
The more you tell your kids to finish their veggies, the more they’ll resist. They don’t like being told what to do! It’s in their nature to rebel! Find different ways to get through to them without sounding bossy or irritated. Forcing them to eat can leave them with a bad impression of mealtimes in general.
If all else fails, bring them to BOOM and give them a go at our Kidz360 menu. Our little fans say that we’ve got the best breakfast in Toronto!
On a side note: we are also involved with Kidz360, do check them out.
Kids360 is a one of a kind Fitness & Teambuilding Centre in Toronto, designed especially for kids! From the physiological health benefits to the important social skills they develop, playing is what kids are meant to do.